Tuesday, October 30, 2012

trouble afoot at the circle k

Source: here
The last couple of days have been weird. On Sunday night, the Giants won the World Series for the 2nd time in two years. Instead of the relatively peaceful, drunken outside reveling we experienced in 2010, this time the all-out, balls to the wall street party devolved into a full on street riot throughout the city within what seemed like 10-15 minutes. If you've never been in close proximity to a riot, let me enlighten you as to some of the fascinating things that happened Sunday night within a one-block radius of my loft:
  • Illegal fireworks dispersed in the middle of crowds
  • People running everywhere through the streets before they closed the roads
  • Someone threw an M-80 firecracker into the middle of the street (w/cars & people around)
  • SUV driving by has approximately 8-10 people on the roof/hanging off of it 
  • The car following it was driving down the street with both drivers side doors hanging open
  • Things got more sinister when a huge mob of maybe 30 people attacked and climbed on top of a car that was waiting to turn left from Townsend onto 3rd (right in front of our front door). They were jumping on the car, and trying to wreck it while it had people inside! The car got away eventually but its roof was severely dented. I saw this all from the news helicopter that was filming it ....the air was thick with more helicopters than I've ever seen before. 
  • Endless honking, screaming, yelling, more honking, the sound of glass bottles breaking, etc
  • Here's my favorite part of SF disobedience: for reasons beyond my comprehension, people then began to set little fires composed of garbage in the middle of 3rd street. In 2010 they were trash can fires, but this time they just set up several different fires, and I swear, the entire thing looked like some kind of fuzzy, smoky post-apocalyptic refugee camp. 
  • At the same time, more fireworks were being set off, and eventually the smell of burning paper and plastic and whatever else pervaded the loft even though we'd shut all the windows to blunt noise.
  • Every so often there would be a huge explosion. A car backfiring? Gunshots? WHO KNEW? 
  • Elsewhere in San Francisco, giant bonfires were erected on Mission Street and shit got really bad out there, with people being caught with guns, burned by bonfires, throwing paint cans into fires etc. 
  • But here's the coup de grĂ¢ce: someone, or a group of someones, completely torched and destroyed a Muni bus up at 3rd & Market. Completely engulfed in flames, only a shell now kind of torched. And you should watch this video, but beware, there are f-words:

So there you go. SFPD in riot gear finally dispersed the crowd in our neighborhood between 12:30-1am, and they were very efficient about it. They also had people out there cleaning the neighborhood until 5am, so when I went outside on Monday morning? It was as if nothing had happened...almost. At any rate, I am really disappointed that this was the result of winning the World Series .. what is wrong with people!?!

Anyway, that set the tone for the last few days, and it's just been ... unusual. Mostly in ways that are kind of intangible, and hard to explain, so you'll just have to trust me. Except here's another very quantifiable example: yesterday I worked from home because Scott & I had to take Jeffy in for a vet appointment at 11am. Pretty much the rest of the day was spent watching Hurricane Sandy (weirdest.name.ever.) coverage on The Weather Channel (yeah, Cantore is my homeboy!) . And then keeping tabs on Twitter all night as things deteriorated in NYC ... it was heartbreaking and heartwarming and terrifying and actually brought home the point for the first time in my life that maybe I wouldn't actually want to be in a hurricane. I've always romanticized them to an extent, I think, so I guess last night "shit got real."

What a unique storm this was. I've never seen anything like it in all my years of being a weather fanatic/geek, and it's not like I'm 400 years old but this really was a once in a lifetime thing. I know many believe it was climate change related, but after doing research on hurricane formation, El Nino events and global warming of oceans over time (back in college) I realized that it's not a black/white issue. It's way more complex cause & effect than we are even able to pinpoint right now. So I'm just taking it for what it was: a breathtaking storm that has caused massive destruction & put all the northern states on edge.

I don't know, it just feels like a weird time. My schedule is all off and that only enhances the surreal feeling.

There's more stuff, but I'm about to leave to go home and take care of Jeffy, so they will have to wait.

4 comments:

  1. i will never understand why the excitement of your favorite team winning a championship of sorts would cause one to want to destroy property! what the hell? i am a lifelong giants fan and the win made me want to call and celebrate with my parents over the phone and watch the coverage of the team in the locker room being doused with champagne. what is wrong with people?

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    1. As much as I don't understand it, and as much as it pains me to say this -- I think it's human nature. I think group dynamics are pretty effed up to say the least, and when groups of humans congregate, whether they be in small numbers or large, bad things happen. The mob mentality -- and the deindividuation that occurs with it -- is SCARY SHIT. I hope I never fall victim to that, but as humans we are ALL vulnerable to it.

      And, of course ... alcohol helps bring this on too :P

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  2. I could not resist....

    http://youtu.be/1DsFMJQHbMs

    ReplyDelete

 
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